News Center

Data Centers Continue to Proliferate While Their Energy Use Plateaus

United States Data Center Energy Usage Report authors (from left) Dale Sartor, Richard Brown, Arman Shehabi, Sarah Smith. Energy Technologies Area. 06/172016

As the number of data centers continues to increase in the United States, the good news is that they are becoming much more energy efficient. A new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising rapidly for more than a decade, started to plateau in 2010 and has remained steady since, at just under 2 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.

Massive Trove of Battery and Molecule Data Released to Public

Kristin Persson - Materials Sciences Division

The Materials Project, a Google-like database of material properties aimed at accelerating innovation, has released an enormous trove of data to the public, giving scientists working on fuel cells, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and a host of other advanced materials a powerful tool to explore new research avenues. But it has become a particularly important resource for researchers working on batteries.

New Berkeley Lab Study Tallies Environmental and Public Health Benefits of Solar Power


Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the United States by 2050, according to a study from Berkeley Lab and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Roof Racks a Drag on Fuel Economy


As you get ready to hit the road this summer, with the kids loaded inside and the bikes strapped to the roof of your car, you may want to stop and consider that the roof rack on your car may be costing you as much as 25 percent more in gas.

New Fuel Cell Design Powered by Graphene-wrapped Nanocrystals

Photo - A powdery mixture of graphene-wrapped magnesium nanocrystals, produced at Berkeley Lab, is stable in air. The mixture's energy properties show promise for use in hydrogen fuel cells. (Eun Seon Cho/Berkeley Lab)

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a new materials recipe for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell that shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture, and contaminants while pushing its performance forward in key areas.

Modernizing a Technology From the Vacuum Tube Era To Generate Cheap Power

Hand-built research converters and thermionic demonstration device heated with a flame to produce power. (GE Research, 1960s)

When scientists Daniel Riley and Jared Schwede left Stanford University last year to join Cyclotron Road, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s program for entrepreneurial researchers, their vision was to take thermionics, an all-but-forgotten technology, and develop it into a clean, compact, and efficient source of power.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Developing Paint-on Coating for Energy Efficient Windows

Berkeley Lab scientists (from left) Raymond Weitekamp, Arman Shehabi, and Steve Selkowitz will use the Berkeley Lab windows test lab to develop a paintable heat-reflective coating for low-cost energy efficient windows. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

It’s estimated that 10 percent of all the energy used in buildings in the U.S. can be attributed to window performance, costing building owners about $50 billion annually, yet the high cost of replacing windows or retrofitting them with an energy efficient coating is a major deterrent. Berkeley Lab researchers are seeking to address this problem with creative chemistry—a polymer heat-reflective coating that can be painted on at one-tenth the cost.

Simplifying Solar Cells with a New Mix of Materials

A new mix of materials for a solar cell, developed by a Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers, shows promise for use in solar panels.

Scientists have simplified the steps to create highly efficient silicon solar cells by applying a new mix of materials to a standard design. The special blend of materials eliminates the need for a process known as doping that steers the device’s properties by introducing foreign atoms. Doping can also degrade performance.

Polar Vortices Observed in Ferroelectric

Ramesh vortices feature

Berkeley Lab researchers have observed polar vortices in a ferroelectric material that appear to be the electrical cousins of magnetic skyrmions. This discovery holds intriguing possibilities for advanced electronic devices and could also rewrite our basic understanding of ferroelectrics.

Weaving a New Story for COFS and MOFs

Omar Weaving art illustation feature

An international collaboration led by Berkeley Lab scientists
has woven the first 3D covalent organic frameworks (COFs) from helical organic threads. The woven COFs display significant advantages in structural flexibility, resiliency and reversibility over previous COFs.